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Research Opportunities

image shows a male student mixing chemicals in a beakerThe Division of Biological Sciences actively encourages its undergraduates to take advantage of the many research opportunities available on campus.

Research experience allows for hands-on application of concepts and knowledge learned in the classroom and gives students the opportunity to work with and get to know scientists who are among the best in their fields. Research experience also prepares students for graduate and professional study as well as careers that place a high value on critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Hours and Credit

Students may receive 1-3 hours of credit (BIOSCI 4950/4952) up to a total of 12 credit hours. Upon completion of a total of 6 hours, 3 credit hours may be applied as elective credit toward a BA or BS in Biological Sciences. Any remaining hours may be applied as general elective hours toward graduation. As a general rule of thumb, students should expect to spend 4-5 hours per week per credit hour on their projects, although the actual time commitment will be determined by what is required scientifically and may vary considerably.

Prerequisites

  • Overall GPA of 2.7 or greater. Majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher may elect to participate in the Honors Research Program.
  • Completion of at least 20 total hours of biology, chemistry, and/or physics courses.
  • Department and faculty mentor’s consent.

Application Process

To initiate and complete the Undergraduate Research program in Biological Sciences, students should follow these steps:

  • Identify a faculty member who will agree to be your research mentor.
    The faculty member does not have to be in the Division of Biological Sciences, but the research must be in the area of the life sciences. Although opportunities to conduct undergraduate research are occasionally advertised via flyers or listservs, generally students must contact individual faculty to inquire about research opportunities. The Office of Undergraduate Research, which serves as a central resource for research opportunities on campus, offers some tips on getting started as an undergraduate research intern. We also encourage you to consult Dr. David Setzer, Director of Undergraduate Research in the Division of Biological Sciences, about choice of faculty mentor and project.
  • Complete and sign the Guidelines and Agreement for Undergraduate Research in the Division of Biological Sciences form. Submit the signed form to the Biology Advising Center, 3 Tucker Hall, for approval. The signed form must be received 7 days before the “last day to drop a course without a grade.”  If you are planning to enroll in Bio 4950H/4952H (honors research), you must also submit an Honors Research Application at least 15 days before the “last day to drop a course without a grade” and before you submit the “Guidelines and Agreement…” form.
  • Enroll in BIO_SCI 4950/4952 by no later than the “last day to drop a course without a grade.”
    Majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher may elect to participate in the Honors Research Program.

For More Information

Dr. David Setzer
Professor and Director of Undergraduate Research
106 Tucker Hall
Phone: 573-882-6821